Four Things to Take Care of Before Leaving College

So you’re done with college and on to your next adventure! Should you choose to become a traveling nomad, this article may not apply to you. However, if you’re moving to a new place to start a new life as an “adult”, listen up: it’s time to start planning ahead professionally. Here are a few suggestions to get you ready for this new shift in your life.

1. Get on LinkedIn!

Upon leaving college, many of your personal connections will become professional connections. But unlike Facebook, LinkedIn is a place to connect on a professional level. It’s specifically designed to let you see where connections are working and what they’ve achieved in the workplace. Those connections stay important when you’re job shopping or looking for partners on a project and need an industry insider with experience. In addition, many job recruiters are looking through LinkedIn profiles and even using it to screen potential employees before an interview even starts. To be frank, I’ve even been offered jobs through it. In this age, it’s almost necessary to be taken seriously as an employee.

2. Pack Light!

When moving, you should take mostly necessities for your new life and that naturally means letting go of textbooks, extra office supplies, and anything else you no longer use. This doesn’t mean you have to throw them all out. You could sell those textbooks and office supplies to younger students. Do the same for clothes you don’t wear and furniture you won’t use. Really, your primary focus in what you take with you should be things you need or will be using a lot.

3. Think about Paying Off your Student Loans – Now!

Make a plan to pay your student loans off as soon as you can. As a starter, get educated on student loan interest rates if you’re not already. This will hopefully incline you to pay the most you can whenever you make payments. Afterward, simple adjustments like avoiding going out for eating and entertainment are easy ways to save some cash. Choosing to make food at home more often doesn’t have to mean dollar store tacos. In fact, you can learn how eat healthy on a budget. Use resources from fitness websites that show how to eat healthy and affordable are great places to start. Going to see movies or buying DVDs? Netflix and Hulu will be your best friends and save you hundreds on what you normally would spend at a theater. Cut free those everyday expenses that you don’t need. Your wallet will thank you.

4. Do Research on Moving Trucks and Equipment!

Assuming you can’t fit everything into your car, you may want to rent a truck. I think this is fine, but if you’ve never driven a larger vehicle before, you need to know a little bit about it! The experience is much different from driving a smaller car and when you’re carrying more weight that makes a lot of difference, especially with unfortunately minimal highway precautions in some places. Be careful, know the limitations of a vehicle that size, and only use one if you have to. When dealing with a business for something this important, know what you need in a company and how they should be acting with customer relations. Companies like American Van Lines have the best reviews, while U Haul – though it’s more popular, tend to have some of the worst. Some companies you may not expect offer these services as well.

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